Parisian designer label Damir Doma has just released these leather lace-ups as part of their Fall / Winter Collection. The avant-garde design features two waxed lacing systems, a premium leather upper in an all black colourway, finished with white leather lining. The shoe is made complete with a gum sole and is available now in-store and the newly opened online store at Hostem.
Archive for Paris
Paris based Hype Means Nothing announces their upcoming collaboration with powerhouse Tokyo jewelry brand Ambush with the above image. Although, the image does not showcase the collaboration between the two, it provides us with a first preview of the upcoming Ambush product, including the eyeball rings and the Skull AMB Bones” pendant. More information on the Hype Means Nothing x Ambush collaboration should follow soon.
This unique high top shoe is the canvas for contemporary art from Paris. It looks like someone cut out pieces of abstract geometric shapes from a painting hanging in a art museum.
It’s all about presentation, when it comes to a nice pair of kicks. The 23 101 TRIM by Pierre Hardy is the name for this style. Altogether, there are 500 pairs available worldwide. The 23 101 TRIM are a part of Pierre Hardy’s Men’s Summer 2010 Collection. Retail is 523.00 USD.
SOURCE: Design | Envy’d
A while back we caught up with Jay Smith, whose ½ of BKRW. We chatted in-depth about BKRW, his favourite brands, where his inspirations come from, and about life in Paris. Check out the interview below.
Please introduce yourself.
What’s up? My name is Jay Smith and I’m the founder of BKRW.
What’s life like up in Paris, as far as music, fashion, nightlife, and popular culture?
Paris is an exciting city to live in. Many new projects and shops have opened in the past few months. You can feel the excitement in the streets, in the air. Paris is less and less becoming the boring city of haters that it once was. People are less selfish and less trash talking in the business and more creative. I really do like how Paris is these days. Clubs have gotten smaller and smaller, the atmosphere is more hot and confidential. Paris is electric!
Tell us a little bit about BKRW and the people involved.
BKRW is one of the first digital (online) magazines that is street culture oriented in France by also internationally. We are not a blog. We are not a forum. We are a digital magazine! Since we started BKRW as the digital magazine we have now expanded as a creative agency based in Paris, creative space / art gallery, textile label, and have a brick-and-mortar and online store. The creative space / art gallery is called Les Archives and the textile and stores are Black Rainbow. We are a small team with 2 partners: My partner Greg and I. We also have 3 people staffed at the store and online shop, and that’s pretty much it. If we are working on bigger projects then we will hire on some freelance people for the duration of the project.
Where did you get the idea to start an online magazine? How did you start?
I was the editor-in-chief / founder of Ware Magazine and working for WAD Magazine for more than 5 years. I love print magazines, and am very much into streetwear, sportswear, and technical sport gear. I found myself on the web more and more daily. I was feeling that whole blog revolution, that whole street culture reborn. I use to travel a lot with Greg…Me for my work and him for his own. He was really convinced that we should do a digital magazine. That’s how it started. That’s how we blindly and wildly went into this crazy adventure. Starting BKRW with just our passion for street culture and our wish to create a different media. Try to apply journalistic methods to online culture. Today, it’s kind of easy to think that creating an online magazine is not that crazy, but in the past it was a huge step. But the fact is that coming from a print magazine helped me to not think about BKRW as a blog, but as a full-fledged and real magazine, with creative content of our own, not necessarily some news that other people / blogs are posting. It was good times…I really do miss those times (Not that far back if I really think about it), the whole atmosphere was really different…Nostalgia.
Since starting the online magazine, you’ve really branched out and have become a full-service creative agency, clothing brand, and a store. Was that a goal of yours or did it just happen organically?
It just happened organically and by chance. The minute we started to work as an online magazine that was oriented on street culture, people started contacting us to help them and give them advice. It was perfect timing. We did launch our company with the Medicom x Chanel consulting. Doing the first 1000% Bearbrick for a high-fashion brand. The creative agency actually helped us get the shop. People from the department store Citadium were searching for some kind of streetwear consulting. When we met them we did understand that the consulting that they were searching for was far easier to do through our own pop-up shop. That’s how the Black Rainbow shop was born.
What clients have you worked with in the past?
We started with our biggest thus far: Chanel. We proposed to them to do the 1000% Bearbrick with Medicom and they accepted; more than that they featured them in all of the Chanel window displays worldwide. We’ve also worked with Nike, Adidas, Lacoste, Casio G-Shock, and Footlocker.
What brands does Black Rainbow carry?
Black Rainbow carries Staple Design, Hellz Bellz, Supra, Nike, New Balance, HUF, Lafayette, BePrive, Only NY, Sugarcraft, Crooks & Castles, and our own in-house label to name a few.
What are some of your favourite brands at the moment?
I don’t want to sound cocky or arrogant but Black Rainbow is probably one of my favourite brands and what I am wearing most right now. We created the label because we can’t always find pieces that truly stand out to us from other brands. I like the small street twist we are putting in the classical silhouette that we are choosing. Greg does an amazing job on our Black Rainbow clothes. I also have a special crush for Isaora (New snowboarding brand) and Nike ACG.
What are some of your inspirations?
Inspirations are hard to get. The digital magazine and internet takes up most of our time. There’s no real time to go and check out art exhibitions or to see good movies at the theatre. I’m still a huge fan of printed magazines such as Wallpaper, Monocle, and Sneaker Freaker. I’m a huge fan of Steven Meisel, JR, KR, Marylin Minter…Street looks websites (Sartorialist, Lookbook.nu, What’s One Wearing) are becoming more and more inspirational. Music is certainly my inspiration: Hip-Hop, soul, R&B, samba, etc. I’m always listening to music. Another cheesy drop, but streets are still my biggest inspiration, on the train, on basketball court; going to see friends in the suburbs ghetto…It gives you a total new way to see your job.
The fashion and music worlds are often tied together…What music artists out right now are really grabbing your attention?
That’s an interesting question. I’ve always been attracted to old school music (Soul, funk, R&B) and always been kinda followers / early adopters to new hot singles. Regarding the vibes I’m rediscovering the interesting work of incredible musician, Shaggie Otis. Regarding new school, my favourite artists are J. Cole, Saigon, Wale, and Young Money.
What new upcoming events, projects, or releases are you currently working on?
We have many projects in the works: The new Les Archives gallery exhibition, our Summer 2010 Black Rainbow collection, more creative content and exclusive interviews on BKRW. Many projects with cool brands as consultants or for special pop-up shops in our Black Rainbow store.
What would you say are the most difficult aspects of your line of work?
As you can see BKRW is 3 different entities. So it’s 3 companies to manage at the same time. Sometimes it gets really hard to handle and manage everything properly, especially if you look at our small crew.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Jay. Do you have any shout-outs or anything else you’d like to say?
If Canadian brand Sorel wants to work with us for a special collaboration project or work on new designs, hit me! I love Sorel boots! I’m always happy when Winter is coming and I can wear my big Caribou x Sorel shoes, even if all of my staff insult me for wearing such huge shoes in Paris. Tabernacle!
The Sartorialist recently did a photoshoot for GQ Magazine outside of the famed retail shop Colette in Paris.
SOURCE: The Sartorialist
We were lucky enough to chop it up with famed hip-hop scholar and visual artist James “Koe” Rodriguez.
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do.
My name is James “Koe” Rodriguez, bka Koe Rodriguez. I’m a visual artist who’s had the pleasure of wearing quite a few unique hats in this industry of ours. I manage the business affairs of pioneering New York photographers: Jamel Shabazz, Ernie Paniccioli and Joe Conzo. I’m also currently working with the Heritage Brand of Hip-Hop Culture, Sedgwick & Cedar, to help reposition the company as a global lifestyle brand. I like to stay busy.
Most of us recognize you from being in the sneaker documentary Just For Kicks. How did you get involved with CAID Productions for that?
In truth, most people recognize me as Koe the Graff writer from JC, (Jersey City). That’s actually where the name Koe comes from, initially spelled with a C and later with a K. Just For Kicks was something that came about via my man Jamel Shabazz. Caid Productions wanted to interview Jamel and he thought I should ride shotgun, which is how we occasionally roll for interviews. I’ve been a “style child” since the 80’s and definitely no stranger to a fly pair of kicks, with matching laces of course. I had a bag full of old fat laces from the 80’s that I took to the shoot and when I showed the crew at Caid, they lost their minds! They were like, you need to drop some jewels, and that’s exactly what I did.
The Director, Thibaut De Longeville from Paris told me that Jamel & I were two of his favorite interviews in the whole film. I guess he wasn’t bullshitting, ‘cause in conjunction with PUMA, they flew us out to Paris (along with my man Bobbito Garcia and DJ Cash Money) for some very dope promotional events. We were out there like rock stars, smashin’ up the town. Thibaut has become a good friend ever since and we were hanging out in Paris just a few months ago. I also got kool with Thierry Daher over at Caid Productions in New York and Joe Conzo and myself were one of the stars of his 2008 film, Way of the B-Boy.
What’s a typical day in your life / job like?
It used to be a ton of running around, man: meetings, premieres, release parties, launches, blah, blah, blah; the usual industry shit. Nowadays, I work from the comfortable confines of my home in Central New Jersey. I still travel when I have to and minimize my trips into New York for priority business n’ such only. I’ve paid quite a few dues and don’t have to move around as much as I used to, although working from home sometimes sucks. I’m inherently an extrovert and love being in the mix.
How did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
Everything that I’m doing now is a direct result of my involvement in Hip-Hop, particularly the 1980’s Graffiti scene. Graffiti was my ticket into the industry. Through Graff, I’ve met so many people, explored so many places and have been afforded so many opportunities over the years. I was able to parlay my creative abilities (and some decent business sense) over the years into what I presently do. Trust me, there wasn’t a plan. I just stuck to my guns and exploited every opportunity that came my way. I really don’t believe in luck. We all have the power to be where we want to be in life. Luck is winning the lottery or cheating death.
How did you get your job? What jobs and experiences have led you to your present position?
One of the things I’m most proud of is creating my own job. No one gave it to me. I’ve learned much as an artist and hustler in Hip-Hop over the years. If Hip-Hop was an institution of higher learning, I would definitely have a Masters Degree. I’ve just spent that much time involved in it. I’m going on 40 next year and I’ve been down with Hip-Hop since the Carter administration; do the math. I consider myself cross platform (so to speak) because I not only have the unique ability to be creative, but to also act as a businessman as well.
I’ve been a partner in at least 4 business ventures in the past and I’ve learned a lot about business. In truth, I miss being more creative; again, I’m an artist at heart, but I’m just at a different place in my life right now. I’ve always loved Hip-Hop, (every nook and cranny of it) and it was one of my goals to be self employed in it, which I currently am. I’ve seen some of Hip-Hop’s best years and being a part of that all set the stage for where I’m at today.
Can you suggest some ways a student could obtain this necessary experience?
Sure, go out and be a part of something; as they say, “get some!” Wasted talent is a sin, man! If you’re even remotely good at something, not just an element of Hip-Hop, pursue it with unwavered heart and passion. Don’t let anyone crush your dreams and/or knock you off course. It’s kool to be a cheerleader on the sidelines, but nothing’s better than being in the game. I’ve always been a devout student of the culture, way before cats labeled me a connoisseur or scholar. Me being a part of several films, books, shows and other special projects is because I know my shit; I took the time to learn about this culture in addition to being a part of it. Being educated (in any respect) is important and that’s when respect and opportunity come your way. Know that which you love inside-out and always respect the OG’s and your fellow artists. You need humility and knowledge, not just talent to survive in Hip-Hop, and life in general.
What are the most important personal satisfactions and dissatisfactions connected with your occupation? What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging? What do you like and not like about working in this industry?
Personal satisfactions would be getting ahead in my career and continuing to make money and have fun doing it. Dissatisfactions would have to be the complete opposite. Most satisfying would be brokering nice deals with big corporations such as Nike, Adidas, and Viacom. In addition, travelling the world, being a part of special multi-media projects and just having a grand ol’ time with Hip-Hop. Most challenging will always be bigger and better paychecks, maintaining my creativity (and sanity) and dealing with politics, egos and bullshit. What I like most about working in this industry is the progressiveness and unpredictability of it; it’s never a dull moment. Most of the elements never cease to amaze me and always remind me of why I got into this thing in the first place. As for my dislikes regarding the industry, I pretty much touched on it above. I sometimes hate that Hip-Hop has been so compromised and that not enough real heads are at its corporate reigns. Lastly, I dislike that our culture is so accessible and neatly packaged up at times. There was a time when Hip-Hop was this secret society. Not everybody could get in, get down and move so freely through the realm. There were rules & regulations; beat downs for biters and violators; and no short cuts to being down by law. Once Hip-Hop went mainstream and we officially had an industry with an infrastructure (of sorts) an economy, politics, bureaucracy and nonsense, it lost something. I’m all for moving forward, but…
What are some of the other jobs available in this field or organization?
There’s a bunch of jobs in this industry, some very lucrative. Whether or not one is qualified to perform any is really the question. An occupation in Hip-Hop doesn’t work like filling out a job app on Monster.com. You have to really get in where you fit in – period. It’s what I had to do and so many others as well. It really helps to know people and possess some form of talent. Hip-Hop is a multi-billion dollar industry and much like any other profitable industry it will take care of those who are the most qualified, talented and hungriest.
What particular skills or talents are most essential to be effective in your job? How did you learn these skills?
Creativity, balls, thick skin, patience, knowledge, tenacity and good communicational and interpersonal skills. I hate a lot of these smart dumb people out here. You have to have some degree of smarts to do anything on this planet, let alone work in an industry that eats its young. Everything I know was self taught or absorbed from other positive and very talented people. They say God doesn’t give you what you want, he gives you what you need and the rest is up to you; well, that couldn’t be truer. I’m not against school and certainly not a drop-out, but degrees aren’t always a ticket to success – passion and desire are.
How is the economy affecting this industry?
First n’ foremost, I don’t believe in this so called recession of ours. When people stop buying flat screen TV’s, anything Apple, shopping in malls, driving luxury automobiles, sporting labels, and buying 5 dollar coffees to hold in one hand while they yap on a $500 phone in the other, I’ll believe cats are hurting out here. I think new technology has affected this industry more than the economy has. The web is like the gift and the curse; it has people downloading free music, videos and other forms of media that they would’ve paid for in the past. It has companies spending less on traditional forms of advertising, (i.e. print, TV and radio) because the internet offers more bang for their buck. Depending on your industry, technology is either your friend or your sworn enemy. I knew a guy who had to recently close down a once profitable photo lab because companies online offered cheaper prints/services, and spots like CVS and Walgreens offered the same quality prints he offered, but for far less. They basically cut his throat. He’s a miserable car salesman now and understandably so.
How has your job affected your lifestyle?
My job is my lifestyle and vice versa; and I really can’t complain. Working in this industry has its ups and downs, but that’s life in general. There’s definitely more ups then there are downs nowadays. I love what I do and whenever I start complaining about something, I drive to a train station in the morning to see people scrambling to get to work, looking all miserable and frustrated and remind myself that I can always go back to the rat race if I’m not happy being my own boss.
What abilities or personal qualities do you believe contribute most to success in this field/job?
Having balls, thick skin, an innate ability to hustle and undying patience and persistence! Having brains and a talent or two doesn’t hurt either. God blessing me with creativity (in so many respects), being educated both in-and-out of the classroom and having immense resilience and persistence has helped me greatly in life. I’m kool by nature and I’ve been hustling since I was a kid; which has only helped, not hurt me.
How did your relationship with Sedgwick & Cedar come about? What are your thoughts on their current collection with (your artist) Jamel Shabazz?
I’ve known the Riccio brothers, Ray & Ed (R.I.P.) the owners of the brand since 2005 and have always admired their desire to marry the essence of our great culture to urban fashion. They came in the game with a plan, crazy respect and a ton of humility. In other words, they came correct. They supported a big show I curated in Brooklyn with my guys back in ’05 called 3 The Hard Way and we’ve been kool ever since. S&C represents a very unique standard and special place in Hip-Hop apparel today. Regarding the Shabazz collection, what can I say; it’s everything we thought it would be. Jamel & I have been a part of the collection from A-Z. I’ve had a lot of say regarding the creative process and how the product is marketed and promoted. The collection has gotten a very strong international buzz and we expect the same (if not better) for Joe Conzo and Ernie Panicciolil’s forthcoming collections as well.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us Koe. Do you have any last words or shout-outs?
Hip-Hop is still as beautiful and as progressive as ever. If you’re not doing right by this gift the great Afrika Bambaataa and DJ Kool Herc blessed us with, you should bounce! There’s still cats like myself who love Hip-Hop and want only the best for it. It’s done right by me and so many others across the globe, so let’s continue to say thank you by supporting our pioneers and uplifting our culture in general. Peace, Love, Unity, Fun, Knowledge, Wisdom, Equality and infinite Positivity, people! Respect to Peter & The Goodie Bag, my 1 LOVE crew: Jamel Shabazz, Ernie Paniccioli, Joe Conzo and Latee. My Boricua brothers: DJ Disco Wiz, Bobbito Garcia, Ivan “Doc” Rodriguez, Mare 139, TATS CRU, Ken Swift and Kenny Dope. My S&C fam: Double R aka Ray Riccio, Dan “The Man” Sears, Ryan “Undying” Krauchick and Pash & Crew over at Digital Soup. My better half Christy Milanes, my daughter & son, Serg the Barber, Lo-Lifes, Zulus, true Hip-Hoppers and my international familia, you know who you are. Roc on…
Knotoryus offers us a behind-the-scenes look into Kanye West’s collaboration alongside Louis Vuitton. The self proclaimed Louis Vuitton Don gets down with LV designer Fabrizio Vitti on variety of design sketches. The highly publicized footwear lineup is due to release in the latter part of 2009.
Nine years after opening its doors in Paris, sneaker store Oqium (also known as Opium) has expanded its concept into Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Besides being one of Europe’s leading exclusive sneaker store, Oqium’s philosophy is inseparable of being a museum of sneakers too; several rare species of Original and Limited Edition Nikes as well as Air Jordans are displayed in the store which is set up in a boutique style. We really like the application of wood on the exterior and the all around clean setup of the store.
The new Oqium sneaker store is located at Grotekerkplein 103, close to Rotterdam’s hip Meent district.
3011 GC Rotterdam
0031 (0)10 413 1633
I know many people are already aware and have spoken about this, but I’d just like to take the time to bring up the new Kanye West x Louis Vuitton shoe collab. There will be 6 designs releasing sometime in mid-June of this year. Kanye has already unveiled 3 of the releases. All of them look amazing, but the starting price range will be $700.00 and up. Plus, with the exclusivity of them, especially only being available in-store at Louis Vuitton boutiques you might need to be put on a waiting list in order to get them. The same thing happened with the Pharrell x Louis Vuitton collab for the Louis Vuitton “Millionaire” sunglasses. Good luck in getting them, and for all you resellers out there, this could be a cash-cow, I mean just look at the Nike Dunk Low Pro SB “Tiffany’s / Diamonds,” when they were released back in 2004 they were sold for the retail price of $65.00 USD, but with all of the hype, and the limited availability they now can cost over $700.00 USD for a non-worn pair.